Fines, expulsion for absentee MPs

2011-07-13 22:18

Cape Town - Parliament could soon introduce fines of R500 a day for missing work for MPs who go absent without leave for more than a fortnight, the office of the ANC chief whip said on Wednesday.

"The proposals are a way of acting on the constitutional provision prescribing the period for which an MP can be absent," said Moloto Mothapo, spokesperson for the office of the ANC chief whip.

The rules of Parliament state that MPs need leave from the legislature if they are going to be absent for more than 15 consecutive days while the National Assembly is in session.

"This takes it further by dealing with absenteeism from (portfolio) committees and proposing minimum and maximum penalties," Mothapo said.

He said the proposed rules amendment had been approved by the chief whips' forum and handed to all political parties as a draft discussion document for consideration. It was expected to serve before the rules committee "soon".

The document proposes that if a lawmaker is absent for 15 consecutive sitting days of the National Assembly without leave "an amount of R500 will be deducted from that member's salary for each day in excess of the 15 days".

It proposes that an MP who is absent for 30 or 60 consecutive sitting days without leave, should lose his or her seat.

With regard to committee meetings, it is suggested that if members are absent without leave or good reason, such as attendance of another committee, they will lose their seats on the committee.

A tightening of the rules, with penalties for absenteeism, has been in the pipeline since 2003, but the document suggests that implementation is hindered by a lack of enthusiasm from political parties.

It calls for input from parties on the system they use to grant leave to their members and said new rules could not be finalised and implemented without this information.

"All parties have been requested to provide the guidelines that they are using in granting leave but only two responses have been received."

Mothapo confirmed that the proposals have been "coming and going for years" and said there was now renewed intent to have them adopted.

This follows the budget speech of Speaker Max Sisulu last month in which he lamented that "empty benches either by backbenchers or members of the executive of all parties erode the image and integrity of this institution and betray the trust that people placed in us".

In recent months, Parliament has repeatedly been unable to adopt legislation because there were too few MPs present in the National Assembly for the necessary quorum to pass the laws.

  • Hein - 2011-07-13 22:25

    What a joke! If you are absent without leave for a week, you can by law be fired. At R500 per day, it's a bargain to be fined - the MP's earn much more than that! Paid holidays!!!

      Fred - 2011-07-13 22:55

      Fully Agree. No deterrant here at all. All they have to do is go to work, sorry, be at work, once every two weeks and they still earn a minimum of R65,000 per month. Isn't it time a "clean-up" squad started taking out all these wankers? All they do is steal us blind, pollute the air and waste precious resources. Time to get rid of them.

      Creeky - 2011-07-14 05:04

      Winnie is going to be pisssed off!!!! Her bum has not seen the inside of parliament for a month opf Sundays!

      springbokke - 2011-07-14 06:17

      Two weeks off work then a rap on the knuckles.......F.M.DUCK. In bygone days , two days off work with no doc.note = no pay,/ more than that = suspention / thereafter expulsion.

      LagUTroll - 2011-07-14 07:07

      Be absent for 14 days, rock up to work for 1 day - play farmville all day, be absent for another 14 days, rock up to work for 1 day - play farmville all day... etc etc.

      willieman - 2011-07-14 07:56

      Even if they attend they still sleep.The only thing they know is to sabotage others and support unreasonable proposals from their party.Deadwoods

      Lucky Strike - 2011-07-14 08:02

      Totally agree. The fine should be DOUBLE what they earn per day and not less than what they are being paid. There is no will to pull them in line!!!

      McDaNife - 2011-07-14 08:13

      For 14 days! fire these buggers who are using our money to holiday during work.

      Rolie - 2011-07-14 08:33


      PB - 2011-07-14 08:47

      This is beyond a joke!! What reasoning is there to excuse them from being at work for so long with this little tap on the wrist??? "In recent months, Parliament has repeatedly been unable to adopt legislation because there were too few MPs present in the National Assembly for the necessary quorum to pass the laws." It boggles the mind that this is the best they can come up with - and still they can't make up their minds about it! No wonder our country is in such a pathetic state.

      Creeky - 2011-07-14 09:10

      Parliament = a VACANT LOT!

      York Hunt - 2011-07-14 11:36

      @Max Sisulu. Hey, we never thought you had integrity anyway. So don't worry about the backbenches that were empty...

  • witboy - 2011-07-13 22:29

    Banana Republic

      USSA - 2011-07-13 22:43

      Jip, and we now don't have to wonder why our country is in such deep $hit. The government did not turn up for work.

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 06:18

      The government is run by cabinet ministers and their respective departments not MP's, they are representitives of the voters. That applies to all MP's black, white, DA, ACDP FF etc.

      Mikus - 2011-07-14 06:31

      Paragraph 7 in this report is corrected to read as follows: "It proposes that an MP who is absent for 30 or 60 consecutive squatting days without leave, should lose his or her head"

      daaivark - 2011-07-14 06:58

      OK Mikus, not much intelligence behind that bark.

      allie - 2011-07-14 08:12

      We need a GUY FAUWKES

      Creeky - 2011-07-14 08:12

      "....empty benches either by backbenchers or members of the executive of all parties erode the image and integrity of this institution and betray the trust that people placed in us". Integrity??????? Yeah.... LIKE HELL!

  • maseratifitt - 2011-07-13 22:38

    This must be a joke. How can one be absent from work for more than one day, without facing some sort of disciplinary action? These people are wasting our time and our money. It is time the Parliamentary rule book and the list of privileges be put out to public scrutiny. And R500.00 per day, which they laugh off! Many people don't even earn R500 a day, working 100 times harder and doing more for SA than these parasitic louts. There will have to be some sort of revolution.

      Creeky - 2011-07-14 05:05

      Some people don't earn R500 in a week!

      Creeky - 2011-07-14 05:33

      Sorry for you Azizi.... my 'domestic'earns 16 Euro's an hour! She comes in for 3 hours a day, 3 days of the week!

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 05:48

      Creeky sorry you are an expat you must be missing all the negativaty in your life.

  • johncarlos.biza - 2011-07-13 22:39

    SA govt-good at making laws, not too good at following and enforcing them!

  • USSA - 2011-07-13 22:40

    So this means that the people my tax-money employs don't turn up for work even as long as a month or more? Call me a racist, but I know the members guilty of this offense is NOT white! It is not in our DNA and Ethics structure. I promise you, if an MP missed three meetings in a row in the Old regime, he or she would be in serious trouble..even fired.

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 05:56

      USSA did you eventually pass out???

      daaivark - 2011-07-14 06:59

      Not in our DNA? The man rewrites science. I love a spot of morning insanity, thanks USSA.

      USSA - 2011-07-14 08:09

      @Daaivark If you cannot comment using some measure or intelligence, please refrain from commenting. The truth remains the truth. It was a general statement of truth - no rocket science here, just truth. I have to assume you think that white MP's also stay away from work for week? You must be daft.

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 08:25

      Maybe white MP's do stay away for a week @USSA but then again maybe it is because they are working in their respective constituencies, so somehow that has to measured as well.

      York Hunt - 2011-07-14 11:27

      @USSA. You're not a racist. You're a realist.

  • Mark Schonrock - 2011-07-13 22:43

    Its common practice to have to show medical certificates for being absent from work for 2 or more days... So how about it being 2 days.... and 10k / day ;)

      rastuss - 2011-07-14 04:32

      It has to be at least 2 weeks, because it will take the rest of the incompetent clowns that long to realise they are missing.

  • POLLENYS - 2011-07-13 22:54

    Oh, they'll find ways out. Whekking in my constituency. Sick leave. Sleeping at all kinds of conferences abroad. BTW who will pay Winnie's fines? Has she ever been in parliament?

      gizzy - 2011-07-14 08:25

      This constituency work is the biggest con. These lazy fools don't have constituancies. In the UK, every member has a constituancy and has to do surgeries once a week and still attend parliament everyday. Our politicians wouldn't know WORK if it hit them in the face!

  • Macho Mike - 2011-07-13 23:08

    Impose the fines - it will raise billions.........

      Liberty - 2011-07-14 01:18

      For whom, people on the gravy train?

  • scheeps - 2011-07-13 23:45

    A quick bribe will get rid of that R500 in a second. What has South Africa come to?!?! God help us all.

  • Hendrik - 2011-07-13 23:49

    Just to have a Merc serviced costs you +-R600.00 per hour... Are they serving THAT much less?

  • wombatingloves - 2011-07-13 23:55

    No wonder we are in a shambles! This is the work etiquette that is being prescribed by our leaders!!! Heaven help this country!!!!!!

  • Trumpi - 2011-07-14 00:26

    I've got a better idea: take their car allowance away.

  • Blip - 2011-07-14 02:12

    Only R500 a day? They earn over R10000 a day, so this fine is mere pin-money.

      Donovan Jackson - 2011-07-14 02:51

      Actually, Blip, these layabouts earn nothing. They may get paid R10k per day, but believe me, they earn nothing.

      Donovan Jackson - 2011-07-14 06:03

      ..because to earn implies doing something for the compensation. They do nothing, nothing, nothing, except, of course, steal.

  • Azizi - 2011-07-14 04:08

    This applies to all MP's not only ANC, who are not the only culprits, and the system of fines is used in the British Parliament and US Congress. Part of their job is to work within their constituency’s and this is used as an excuse for not showing. @witboy it has nothing to do with banana's.

      Kikmi - 2011-07-14 07:30


      Azizi - 2011-07-14 07:39

      With pleasure.

  • Inkanyamba - 2011-07-14 04:20

    Yadda Yadda Yadda...Blah Blah Blah...Wakka Wakka Wakka, thats all these silly sods ever do, Hmmm, the will let you them away with spending thousands of taxpayer money on trips around the world, kick-butt parties, flash cars and the occasional infrastructure contract, but hell, try not pitching for a parlimentry session...NOT ACCEPTABLE, BLASPHEMY, IRRESPONSIBLE, DISRESPECTFUL...I will show you. you naughty politician, PAY R500 NOW, or have to be joking, they will only claim it back from petty cash the next day, along with their R50,000.00 slip for the use of scantily clad maidens draped in sushi at the last offical engegement...pull the other one!

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 04:44

      Have a bad night???

      USSA - 2011-07-14 08:13

      @Azizi It is "Had (not have) a bad night?" moron.

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 09:05

      Sorry I should 'have' said 'Did you HAD a bad night.

  • pierre.hough1 - 2011-07-14 04:29

    The document proposing that if a lawmaker is absent for 15 consecutive sitting days of the National Assembly without leave "an amount of R500 will be deducted from that member's salary for each day in excess of the 15 days" is not good enough. They should forgo salary and be faced with a competency evaluation and if they fail that, they must be removed from office.

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 04:50

      Good point. I can go with that.

  • vince muller - 2011-07-14 05:59

    Why not fire the useless MP's? Haven't they stole enough taxpayer money.

      Mikus - 2011-07-14 06:29

      Because just like cutting the head of the Hydra, you immediately get two more in it's place

  • The Baas - 2011-07-14 06:23

    in the world of the capatalist opressor, if i do not call in by 9 am on the first day of absenteeism, to advise of why I am absent, I get dismissed. two days or more of absenteeism immediately triggers a doctors letter. No, i am not a factory worker but a FD and these rules apply to me and the hundreds of staff in out team. these gray train passengers get two be absent for two weeks before any consequences - NICE! i am not surpirised why goverment is falling apart. 2030 = Zimbabwe.

  • braamc - 2011-07-14 06:38

    Get rid of these filthy lazy rubbish things

  • braamc - 2011-07-14 06:38

    Get rid of these filthy lazy rubbish things

      Azizi - 2011-07-14 07:28

      Braam you have the same problem as F-F-F-Floyd

      JR - 2011-07-14 07:36

      You have my vote there. let us start a political party called the "Actually Working Government Party" and run against the Africanised National Criminalised Party

      Benny66 - 2011-07-14 08:03

      Azizi, you're having a field day on this post! Got nothing better to do?

  • daaivark - 2011-07-14 06:57

    About bloody time. These people will never need to strike, as so many of them hardly attend sessions. The wrong dishonourable fat Winnie being the greatest of these. Pull the lazy buggers up short.

  • umlaut - 2011-07-14 07:27

    And what about a fine for sleeping on the job also? You are also "absent" then. If you take money and not doing your job---it is stealing. The person who is paying them knowing they are stealing is then an accomplice.

  • accobra - 2011-07-14 07:31

    Let's play a little voting game: Here are your two categories: 1) A friend to all people promotes peace and harmony 2) An enemy to all people promotes hate and violence Please fit the following into one of the above categories: - Malema - DA - Floyd Shivambu - Mandela - Zuma - Helen Zille - AWB - Cosatu - ANCYL - ANC - Whites - Blacks - Coloureds - Indians - Dingaan - Piet Retief So what did you vote? Why? Did you base it on facts or emotion?

  • JR - 2011-07-14 07:33

    They should be disciplined for not turning up as per teh employment law like everyone else. Bases on the article an MP only needs to attend work 24 times a year to avoid any penalties. great, where can I sign up to be overpaid, lazy, ignorant and enrich myself and get paid holidays under the pretence of trade missions etc. They must be suspended and fired in accordance with the law.

  • LOLWUT - 2011-07-14 07:42

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHA - WTF Guys - OOOOOOO R500 a day - that will teach them. FFS are you serious? They should make me the whip - I will get this nonsense sorted out quick quick. You will see these guys RUN to work - or never come back

  • Gary - 2011-07-14 07:45

    fined after 2 weeks? should be the same as any other job. 2 days off then you better have a drs note otherwise it's leave without pay. The leaders of this country need to lead by EXAMPLE.....

  • Karel - 2011-07-14 07:46


      daaivark - 2011-07-14 08:10

      News24's English isn't much better than yours, and that takes some doing.

  • Fredster69 - 2011-07-14 08:44

    Is it the 1st of April?

  • CraigColinRoyMcLeod - 2011-07-14 08:45

    So you can go absent for up to 14 days, before you will be fined. So If I don't show up for 10 days come back for say 4 I can then take another ten day holiday. And all for a salary that is more than what a doctor or lawyer or highest skill worker would earn, and I get to drive a half a million rand car and spend 250 000 a year on travel and 5 star accommodation. Right that PHD and that BSC were a waste of time and money, I should become an MP immediately does not require any real qualification.

  • - 2011-07-14 09:55


  • Mike Obies - 2011-07-14 09:56

    Well, it might not be much, fining delegates not present, R500-00, but it is a move in the right direction, that of accountability, and should rather be seen in that light, rather than trash it.

  • mmbrits - 2011-07-14 10:09

    Really. Shame. If I am away from work for 2 days I need a medical certificate.

  • Duncan Druck - 2011-07-14 10:35

    "...has been in the pipeline since 2003". I notice the DA didn't bother making a song and dance about this issue.

  • York Hunt - 2011-07-14 11:34

    Unbelievable! No wonder there is so much government mismanagement and lack of service delivery. So technically these MP's, who prefer to be addressed as "the Honourable...", could stay away from work without leave for 14 days, come back for one and then go away again for another 14 without any action against them? Or how about stay away for 14 days, then put in leave for the 15th day and then stay away again for another 14 days before coming back. And be paid for it??? Think about it. That is fa-king wonderful!

  • jonessierob - 2011-07-14 11:43

    R500 After 14 days That is a slap in face of the poor and tax payer. Who have to work hard for there money

  • bill.gradwell - 2011-07-14 13:54

    Fat cats earning mega Rands will not feel the pain. It is a sympton of the disregard for work ethic in this country

  • melchiedek - 2011-07-14 14:04

    500 my ass,they earn more than they should, yet they dont even attend parliament.

  • pages:
  • 1